Quality-of-Life and Happiness: not quite the same
('Qualita' della Vita e Felicita': non proprio la stessa cosa)
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Quality-of-life is conceived as a broad concept that covers three meanings: 1) quality of the living environment, 2) quality of performance and 3) subjective enjoyment of life. 'Happiness' is understood as part of the latter meaning. It is defined as the overall appreciation of one's life-as-a-whole. This chapter explores the relation of happiness with the first two quality-of-life variants. A review of empirical happiness-research shows that happiness concurs with several qualities of the living environment, especially with economic affluence, freedom and intimate ties. Yet not all living- conditions deemed beneficial appear to be linked with happiness, for instance not income-equality or full-employment. Empirical research shows also relations between happiness and performance, especially with physical and mental health. Again there are noteworthy exceptions, for instance happiness appears unrelated to intelligence. The analysis illustrates that quality-of-life is not one encompassing syndrome. Rather than one quality the term denotes in fact combinations of qualities. Hence the term should be used as a token only. Reasoning, measurement and decision-making requires on more discrete concepts.